Practical, innovative ways to BEEF UP the male
presence on your kidmin team...
From the earliest days of his ministry, Jesus recognized the
importance of enlisting the assistance of men and women who weren't
afraid to get their hands dirty and who had the resolve to stand
strong even when facing uncomfortable situations and overwhelming
opposition. He made a point of calling people into service who
wouldn't let the little things like mobs of lepers or threats of
prison distract them from their mission -- people who understood
the need to disciple the next generation of followers.
Jesus enlisted men and women who wouldn't shrink at anything -- not
even service in the nursery. Not even coping with a frustrated
preschooler. Not even facing a firing squad of preteen questions.
And yet more than 2,000 years after Jesus called those first 12 men
to follow him, it's tough for children's ministers to convince a
sufficient number of men to follow Jesus into children's
How did a faith and a church built upon the foundations of
Jesus' strong leadership, bold actions, and acute interest in
children come to have an apparent shortage of men willing to step
up and volunteer to serve in children's ministry?
MISSING IN ACTION
When we consider the latest statistics, we begin to see why getting
guys to take an active role in children's ministry can be
challenging, and at times, downright difficult. According to the
Barna Research Group, on any given Sunday:
• There are 13 million more adult women than men in America's
• Almost 25 percent of married, churchgoing women will worship
without their husbands.
• Only a third of the 90 percent of American men who believe in God
will attend church.
• Nationwide, the majority of church volunteers serving are
As Leon Podles succinctly put it in his book The Church
Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity, "Women go
to church, men go to football games."
So how do we overcome the weak presence of men in today's church
and encourage the men in our congregations to roll up their sleeves
and get involved in children's ministry?
The fact is, it may be easier than we think.
A MAN'S GOTTA DO...
At its very core, the call to involve more men in children's
ministry needs to include an approach that truly focuses on
creating a culture of serving, stresses Dale Hudson, director of
children's ministries at Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach,
Florida. In his book Turbocharged: 100 Simple Secrets to
Successful Children's Ministry, Hudson explores practical
steps that churches, both large and small, can take to actively
encourage more men to partner with, and take an active role in,
their children's ministries.
"When a church's leadership is committed to serving and
communicates its commitment to serve, this creates a synergy that
helps the men of the church take a greater interest in serving as
positive male role models," says Hudson. "It's such an important
role, especially at a time when so many young children lack
positive male role models in their lives."
Here are key strategies Hudson recommends to increase the male
presence on your children's ministry team.
Intentionally enlist men to serve. Never assume that the
men in your church are simply afraid to commit. As with any
relationship, it takes time and effort to develop communication and
a sense of trust with potential male volunteers in your church. So
before you post an announcement in your church bulletin seeking men
who like kids and are willing to commit, get to know the guys in
your church. Go to where they are in your church -- including
sports fellowships, small groups, and even groups for retired
church members. Remember, when Jesus built his team of disciples,
one of the first places he looked was at the marina where the local
fishermen stopped to swap fish stories.
After you've taken time to become familiar with potential
volunteers, share your vision and introduce them to service